THURSDAY JANUARY 17, 2019
THEME: STAND IN THE GAP
PASSAGE: 1kings 8:46-51
1 Kings 8: 46. If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; 47. Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; 48. And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: 49. Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause, 50. And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them: 51. For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:
To stand in the gap is to intercede on behalf of others. The Bible commands us to pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17). No particular posture is essential when you pray; you can stand up or kneel down. Solomon in this text knelt before the altar when he prayed. Prophet Elijah (1Kg. 18:42), Ezra (Ez. 9:5), Daniel (Dan. 6:10), Jesus (Lk. 22:41), Stephen (Acts 7:60), Peter (Acts 9:40) and Paul (Acts 20:36) all knelt in prayer. Victor Hugo is alleged to have said that the soul is on its knee many times regardless of the posture of the body. It is the posture of the heart that is important in prayer.
In our text, Solomon stood and spread out his hands toward heaven (8:22) but the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit where they sat praying in one accord (Acts 2:2).
Solomon prayed that God would also answer the prayers of foreigners who believe in God. For this, God accepted people like Ruth, the Ethiopian Eunuch, Rahab the harlot, and so on. While your pastors pray for you, you also must stand in the gap for them.
The Scripture enjoins us to pray with understanding and in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit is the most effective. It leads to groaning in prayer. Groaning in prayer is one of the most positive things we can do. God allows us to groan, otherwise we would never truly pray. We would utter words but never really pray from the deep within where effectual fervent prayer has to begin (James 5:6 Rom8:26). At the same time, groaning in Spirit is more than physically screaming.
Remember that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint……. Isaiah 40:31. As Christian believers, we must stand in the gap for our leaders, pastors, body of Christ and the nation. Do so today!
HYMN: EMHB 534
1: JESUS, Thou sovereign Lord of all,
The same through one eternal day,
Attend Thy feeblest followers’ call,
And O instruct us how to pray!
Pour out the supplicating grace,
And stir us up to seek Thy face.
2: We cannot think a gracious thought,
We cannot feel a good desire,
Till Thou, who call’dst a world from nought,
The power into our hearts inspire:
The promised Intercessor give,
And let us now Thyself receive.
3: Come in Thy pleading Spirit down
To us who for Thy coming stay;
Of all Thy gifts we ask but one,
We ask the constant power to pray:
Indulge us, Lord, in this request;
Thou canst not then deny the rest.
MEMORY VERSE: Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for a man who will build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it but I found none.”
PRAYER: Lord, help us to always intercede for Your Church and others, in obedience to your will.
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